By Simon Vilakazi
The City of Cape Town announced that homeless people will be fined for sleeping on the streets. This is because the city officials have been getting complaints of public nuisance from business owners who complained that homeless people relieve themselves on the streets near stores and private properties. To deal with this “problem” the city is imposing fines that may be as high as R1,500.00 or more to homeless people who find themselves having to sleep on the streets. This is however controversial. How can a homeless person pay a fine if the reason for sleeping on the street is not having money to pay rent? The City of Cape Town is not explaining what they are doing to help the homeless people. The numbers are increasing but the city’ budget and plans are silent on this challenge. Who is going to help the poor and homeless if their public officials are fining them for being poor?